3-Foot Rat Speared in Brooklyn

Worker at housing project kills rodent with a pitchfork

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 26, 2011 2:22 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's a rat that almost ate Brooklyn. But a Housing Authority worker speared the three-foot-long rodent (including tail)—with a pitchfork, reports the New York Daily News. Experts believe the creature is likely a Gambian pouched rat, which is sometimes kept as a pet—but perhaps more at home in green jungles than the asphalt jungle. Some pouched rats have been trained to detect land mines and TB. Rat-slayer Jose Rivera insists there are more of the little monsters on his turf. Three came scampering out last week when he tried to fill in a rat hole. That's when he managed to nail his trophy.

"I hit it one time and it was still moving," Rivera said. "I hit it another time and that's when it died. I'm not scared of rats but I was scared of being bitten." Residents of the public housing complex have spotted the giant rats, but are even more disgusted by the run-of-the mill brown rats. "Even the cats are afraid of the rats. They get together and gang up on the cats, " said a neighbor. Added another resident: "They're here day and night. We don't dodge bullets. We dodge rats. They're so big, they should charge them rent."

Some Gambian pouch rats have been trained to detect land mines. The Brooklyn rat appeared to be a freeloader.   (Wikipedia)
Jose Rivera shows off trophy rat.   (Facebook)
Some people love the Gambian pouch rats as pets.   (barnabycrump)
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